Ironically, just a few days from writing about an upcoming roadtrip, I find myself on an unscheduled one. We’ve taken off to a friend’s relative’s cabin in Bear Valley, which we thought was somewhere vaguely near Tahoe. Although we’ve only been to Bear Valley once and that was nearly 20 years ago, Andy was convinced he didn’t need anything but the notoriously inaccurate GPS system. Now I’m the kind of person who plots a course on Mapquest, then plots it again on the GPS, then cross-references it with an actual map, and finally asks directions at the first sign that I seem to be on the wrong road. I didn’t have enough preparation for this trip, so unfortunately, it was left to the Andy Method.
We must have taken a wrong turn at Manteca, which I remember from years ago as having giant water slides. Those seem to be gone because there were no signs to them that I saw. Then we started passing ominous signs that said “XX miles to Yosemite. All passes closed.” That did not sound good, especially since I remember Bear Valley as not being in anywhere near a high enough elevation to have any passes, let alone ones that weather could cause to be closed.
I’m assuming the ride out would have been very scenic, if we hadn’t been driving in the dark and therefore unable to see anything. But there were no lights or stores or gas stations or signs of civilization for miles and miles and miles. That usually indicates that you are passing something scenic. However, it’s a bit disconcerting as the hour gets later and you have that increasingly uncomfortable feeling that you are heading nowhere near where you want to go. Add to that suddenly finding yourself in areas where you are out of range on the GPS and you know you are headed for that mythical place called “East Jesus”.
Just when we were getting really nervous, we started to enter quaint little former mining towns such as Sonora and Angels Camp, home of Mark Twain’s “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. In fact, we passed a sign to Mark Twain’s cabin, which I was tempted to suggest we should make our accommodations for the night, since it didn’t look like the town of Arnold actually existed (we couldn’t find it on the map and the GPS wouldn’t even register it.)
Luckily, we met up with our friends at the Victoria Inn in the little town of Murphys which had most of the trappings of civilization — except for a much needed espresso machine. However, a nice dinner set nerves and attitudes back to rights.
Finally ensconced in the cabin in Arnold (which does apparently exist), I was surprised to find NO WI-FI. . .because. . .it’s a cabin. So I’m making like Mark Twain, writing my blog posts which I’ll later upload at the Bear Valley Library, which I suspect is the only InterWeb connection for miles around.
(Hope this still counts for my NaBloPoMo — National Blog Posting Month — efforts as it was written Friday, but by necessity was uploaded Saturday. Did I tell you I had to cross-country ski into the only place with Internet connections? Fighting off bears the whole way? And that Mountain Lion? Yeah, blogging is no piece of cake.)
Oh, and here’s something fun: a list of the movies and TV shows shot in Sonora. Guess we’ve all “been” to East Jesus without even knowing it.